HomePod review: Sounds great but limited information and home control

HomePod

It's one of the most notable teardowns in recent years, as the smart speaker is not only a new Apple gadget, it's a whole new product category for the Cupertino giant. Consumer Reports, however, has done some early testing on the HomePod and found that a few of Apple's competitors may sound a little bit better...

Our own Ced Yuen wrote: "Thankfully, the HomePod sounds great for a speaker this small". It could be described as a Sonos-killer, except that one HomePod cannot actually connect to other HomePods, meaning that stereo sound and multi-room capabilities do not now exists. The Dow Jones Industrial Average, of which Apple is a component, has gained 20% in that time. Unlike most other devices however, the disassembly took a lot more effort, including the use of a hacksaw, which is why the HomePod received a repairability score of just 1 out of 10.

In the United States the HomePod is priced at US$350 and to fix the cord it costs US$279, the same as fixing an iPhone X screen.

And since HomePod is an AirPlay speaker you can use it in conjunction with the Apple TV to give your videos another sound source. However, there are some added issues with this smart speaker.

But if you already have AppleCare+, getting the speaker fixed won't cost you a thing, at least for two years from its original purchase date.

HomePod
The Apple HomePod Sounds Good, But Other Smart Speakers Sound Better

The second reason you might want to reconsider the Apple HomePod is Siri itself. Even Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has had Cortana in a smart speaker for almost six months.

While the HomePod's audio quality is praiseworthy, its "smartness" is not. Siri on the HomePod only answered 52.3 percent of queries correctly, a sharp drop off from Google Home's 81 percent success rate and even behind Alexa's 64 percent and Cortana's 57 percent.

One tip you might not find, however, is an extremely important one - that is, not to break your HomePod.

Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. Depending on how you measure audio performance, that approach may or may not make it the best smart speaker for music lovers. The latter is another big omission for me because HomePod is tied to a single iCloud account, meaning even if the calendar features were available, they would only work with my calendar account.

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